Top positive review
6 of 6 people found this helpful
on my top-10 list
on 14 November 2008
Having researched happiness and success for over 3 decades (more intensively during some periods than others), this is one of my top picks among books that provide good practical advice.
I actually compiled enormous amounts of information on what research discovered, taken from over a hundred different books varying from overcoming adversity, dealing with anger and/or fear, on forgiveness, through "true" success and all the way to optimism and happiness. I did condense what I collected into a book which was never published - friends and coaching clients found it fascinating but "too much information".
This is almost the book I wish I'd written - it distills the best of the happiness research into easy-to-use steps, illustrated with inspiring stories of how very happy people have surmounted personal tragedies using these happiness processes and habits. It offers three guiding principles to overcome common blocks to happiness and a seven-step programme to become "Happy for No Reason".
My other top picks:
- "The How of Happiness" by Lyubomirsky, solidly based on research by an insider, one of the most original and creative scientists within the field of happiness studies itself;
- for its detailed action steps that work well with "How": "Emotional Toolkit" by Mininni;
- Lyubomirsky's second book, "The Myths of Happiness" is more practical, sharing the secrets she has learned from rigorously conducted scientific studies;
- probably my number 1 is, "To Love is to be Happy With", a classic written by the founder of the famous "Options Institute", where people can live the process explained in his book.
Little that is really new and practical on happiness itself, apart from Lyubomirsky's books, appears to have been published in the last few years but I also rate these books, which elaborate on different aspects already known and reported within the happiness/health field:
- in 2015: "I Heart Me: The Science Of Self-Love" by Hamilton and particularly "Beyond Willpower" by Loyd, sharing amazingly quick processes for emotional clearing and success, it's even more powerful than his previous book "The Healing Code" for which there are over a thousand reviews on US Amazon, including many success stories and even physical healings;
- in 2013 "Happy Money by Dunn & Norton, about how best to spend your money to buy more happiness, and "Love 2.0", the second book by the eminent researcher Frederickson, on the myriad benefits of loving kindness - even the book felt much kinder than her first, the 2009 "Positivity", on the tipping point created by having 3 positive thoughts to every negative or neutral thought;
- in 2012 "The Longevity Project" by Friedman and Martin is a groundbreaking 80-year overview on what is really directly linked to happiness and health and "Resilience" by Southwick and Charney, who identify ten key and researched ways to weather, and bounce back from, stress and trauma;
- in 2011 Seligman's "Flourish" with its new emphasis on well-being rather than happiness and McTaggart's "The Bond" on the importance of relationships; and
- in 2010 "Why Kindness is Good For You" by Hamilton which expands on the importance of kindness and helping.]
In the end, however, having worked on myself intensively by using many of the tips, techniques and tools that I learned about over the last 15 years, I have found that HEALTH is the biggest determinant of happiness. To me, happiness is directly linked to well-being - or being well. Yes, there are happy sick people but for most of us it is our underlying constitution that controls our level of happiness. This is not exactly the same as the now-famous "happiness set point" because there are ways to improve basic health whereas it seems the set point is, well, set.